Agence France Presse
Published — Sunday 3 February 2013
Last update 3 February 2013 1:17 am
CAIRO: Egyptian riot police deployed yesterday near the presidential palace after a night of clashes between security forces and petrol-bomb-throwing protesters that killed one man and injured nearly 100.
Protesters threw stones and bottles at the Egyptian prime minister's motorcade yesterday as he tried to enter Cairo's Tahrir Square after overnight clashes nearby and at the presidential palace, media reported.
Dream Live, a private television station, reported that Prime Minister Hisham Qandil left the scene after the attack. His office said in a statement, without elaborating, that he had been "confronted by youths and troublemakers."
"I preferred to avoid a confrontation between them and security personnel," Qandil said later on his Facebook page.
Dozens of protesters remained in the square yesterday after several thousand demonstrators rallied there on Friday against President Muhammad Mursi. Hundreds of people had clashed with police in a nearby street.
Yesterday there was no sign of any protesters, and streets around the presidential palace reopened to traffic, though they were littered with debris.
The smell of tear gas still lingered near the palace, its outer wall scrawled with graffiti including “Topple the regime” and “Freedom.”
In Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, protesters threw stones and bottles at Qandil’s motorcade in the morning, the Dream Live television channel said.
The presidency said security forces would deal with violent protests with “utmost decisiveness” and that it would hold opposition groups found to have incited the clashes “politically accountable.”
Mursi’s Facebook page said the protesters sparked the violence by trying to break into the palace. The opposition distanced itself from the violence and urged demonstrators to exercise “utmost restraint.”
But hours before the violence erupted, NSF leader and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei suggested unrest would persist if Mursi kept sidelining his opponents.
“Writing on wall: violence and chaos will continue until Mursi and co. listen to people’s demands: new government, democratic constitution, independent judiciary,” he wrote on Twitter.